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Watch: "Shanti nai"- the invisible struggle of Bangladeshi women in New York

  • Published at 08:46 pm March 7th, 2017


“Shanti Nai” is a Bengali term implying hopelessness and helplessness, a place of mental isolation and exhaustion. It literally translates to “no peace”, and is a term commonly used by many express their state of distress. I thought it would be appropriate to use it as the title given that one of the support group workers also used the term to express the distress of many of these women. The Bengali population in New York is the ninth-largest, with many coming from Bangladesh to secure a better future for their families. For the men, this means changing careers of high-ranking officials in Bangladesh to doing menial jobs here in New York. For the women, who often tend to stay home, it often means isolation, a sense of hopelessness, perpetuated by the language barrier.